Introduction: How to Make a Case for Your DS Lite Games
I wanted a case for all my games to keep in the house, so I could store their plastic boxes out-of-sight, but all the cases I found online would only hold 8. This isn't meant for travel, since it holds so many games. However, you can alter everything about this pattern; making it smaller, adding handles, adding ties instead of Velcro, or making it more folio-styled with a zip, etc.
I used leftover fabric from a pair of trousers, and I ransacked an old pencil case for the plastic. I didn't use exact measurements. I did most of it by eye, so it's a bit wonky, but the potential for making something really professional-looking is there, if you take more care than I did. It was also my first project of this nature. I only things I've ever made before are a pair of curtains, and a cosmetic case with a zip.
What you need:
~ very basic sewing skills
~ a sewing machine
~ standard sewing notions, like thread, scissors, pins, etc.
~ fabric, the amount dependant on size of project.
~ bias tape or fabric for the edges, or anything to decorate it.
~ plastic for the games slots, if you want, but can use fabric.
~ Depending on size, detail, and skill, about 6 hours/weekend?
~ a presser foot that will work with plastic
Step 1: Getting Started
I want to mention that I used a 'button foot' on my machine, because when I first tried to sew the plastic on, it kept sticking to the foot and wouldn't move. I'm not sure if I was just doing something wrong with the standard foot or what, so I switched to the only other foot I had on hand. It worked fairly well, but there's a trick to using it; because the foot is about 2 inches long and slides , you have to start sewing with the length of the foot in front of the needle. As you sew, it slowly starts moving towards the needle, but then the needle runs out of room and gets stuck, so before that happens, with the needle in the fabric (down), lift the presser foot lever, and push the sliding bit back to the front. It's annoying, but more skilled people might know a better way. I really don't know much about sewing. An alternative to such a time-consuming process would be to use fabric and a standard foot.
So to start: Plan your project.
How many games do you want it to hold?
What colors do you want to use?
Things to help improve the overall look:
~ use a cutting matt with a rotary cutter
~ pre-wash your fabric and iron it.
~ Slow and steady, especially when sewing those seams.
~ If you mess up and sew a wonky seam, tear it out with a seam ripper and do it over. I messed up quite badly, and re-did it. It was worth the effort!
For the project here, you need two pieces of fabric, whatever size you like, as long as the pieces are identical in size. Figure out how many rows you want, and how many games on each row. As you can see from mine, it's quite large... When closed, it's 23cm wide x 9cm long x 4cm deep. If you want it more travel-sized, make it smaller.
If you want it more substantial, you can add a lining; padding for quilts or foam maybe? I used bits of an old pencil case that had slight padding so I added this, as you will see later, but it's optional. If you choose a thick fabric (like upholstery fabric, denim, etc.), that should be enough protection anyway.
So have the fabric cut to size. Then cut your plastic. If you're using fabric, then I would use a piece with edges folded in (width-ways) and even maybe use the iron-hemming stuff to seal it (iron-hemming stuff: I think it's called fusible tape and you put it between two pieces of fabric, or a folded piece, then iron it, then the tape melts, hence you've magically hemmed the material). If using plastic, cut to exact size needed, no folding.
If the fabric has two sides (a nice and a bad one), lay one piece of fabric with the nice side up. Then lay out your cut pieces of plastic/fabric onto the fabric, placing it where you want it. Use pins to secure it, keeping in mind to pin it perpendicularly to the way you're sewing, so you don't break your needle or so the pin into the fabric!
Get ready to sew!
1. Sew the lengths, then the sides. An easy way to do this without cutting in between each different rectangle, is to sew, then when you reach the end, just move the needle and sew again, When you're done, then you can cut each thread in between. Mind you, I used a triple stitch, which is stronger, so if you're only using a single stitch, you might want to reverse-stitch at the end of each rectangle (to keep the thread from ripping out if someone yanked on the plastic). Note: I also used the 'stretch/elastic' setting, because the corduroy and plastic kept bunching. Experiment and see what works best for you.
2. I also sewed on the velcro, top and bottom
Step 2: Sewing the Partitions
1. Starting on one side,take a DS game and put it in.
2. Push it snugly against the outside seam.
3. Roll the needle down into place (the presser foot lever is up at the moment), giving the game enough room for the plastic to stretch down with the stitches. I think this could be about 2-3mm, but if you're using fabric you may want it to be tighter. The plastic was quite thick, so I gave it a little room. It's stretchy, so I don't think it matters too much.
4. Once the needle is in place, Take the GAME OUT, (you wouldn't want to damage it would you?), then lower presser foot lever.
Sew and repeat all the steps 1-4 up one side, then the other. See the 2nd and 3rd photo for an example, so that you're basically doing the outer edges first, not left to right. This is for symmetry.
Note: I will not be held responsible if you're too stupid to remove your game before sewing, so any damage that may occur is not my fault!
Step 3: Sewing the Partitions Cont.
So you've done the outer edges, now it's time to do the inner ones. Just as easy, exactly the same. The key is sewing straight lines.
It doesn't really matter which way round you do this. I put two games in at once, pushing both against the outer seams snugly.
Then, I'd remove one game at a time and sew the seams as in Step 2 of this guide.
Then I'd move to the other game and do the same thing.
Before too long, you have an almost finished case. At least the tricky, hard bit is over.
Because I didn't measure and was unsure about the give in the plastic, this left a little gap in the middle. So I cut a piece of the bias tape and shoved it in (using an upholstery needle to ease it in), and sewed it down for decoration. You could use rick-rack, ribbon, or leave it.
Note: Another way to do this... If you allowed yourself a bigger piece of fabric, you could start this project by sewing the sides of the plastic, from left to right THEN do the seam along the bottom, then trim your fabric to size, and that would probably get around the gap issue and make sure the games were still snug.
Step 4: Almost There - Finishing Touches
Now, to finish up. you need to get the fabric for the back. If you're using padding, etc., cut it to size (the same size as the project).
Put them all together in this order:
1. the games side up, facing you
2. the padding underneath it
3. the backing fabric underneath that, with the nice side facing down (so to test that it's right, hold it all together, looking at the games side then quickly flip it over. you should see nice fabric, not the bad side.)
Pin them together, then sew as straight a seam as possible along the bottom of project. See picture example below. So the seam is opposite to the side near the velcro. Please note: the picture does not show the backing fabric. I did it in a weird order, but for ease, I'm instructing you to do all three together at once.
The next thing to do is roll it up as if it's finished, then either using basting stitches or pen, mark where to sew the corresponding velcro, as in the 2nd picture. You might want to try rolloing it up 3 or 4 times to avereage out a place, maybe even putting all the games in, to make sure the velcro will be in the right place when it's done.
Now sew on the velcro. I only sewed two sides of it, top and bottom. Make sure you're using the right bit of velcro. So if the games side has the hook, make sure the back side uses the fleece.) Also, you're sewing them on top of where you marked the fabric, on the nice side.
If you want to sew on rick rack or ribbon, do it now.
After this, you're going use pins to secure the layers together, pushing it as flat as possible, starting from the center outwards.
Sew the sides and top as straight as you can.
Step 5: Bias and You're Done!
Trim off the excess fabric very close to the seam, even and straight.... like 1-2 mm.
See *** below if you don't want to use bias tape
Take your Bias tape and to prepare it, you could fold it lengthways and iron it down the middle. But I didn't. In hindsight, I realize it would have been easier. Also, you could use a larger size than I did. I used quite small tape, then regretted it. It would have been much easier to use a larger tape. Note: If you buy a bias tape maker, you can make really cool contrasting tape out of fabric scraps you have lying about. They come in lots of sizes and I will be using one on my next project.
Then you place the bias tape onto the edges. This is tricky. If you've never used bias tape (I haven't before), you fold it down the middle and it slots over the edges, basically to cover the seam, to make it look tidy.
The wider the tape the better. If you haven't used padding it will be easier as well. So I took the machine off the stretchy setting and used a single stitch for this. You can pin it together, but it's hard. Get a thimble... good luck.
Sew it on, staying close to the edge of the bias tape so it doesn't curl up.
Just remember to sew on any embellishments before you sew the layers together. You can go to the following addie to see bias tape in action:
I wish I'd seen this before I made my project.
*** Last note: If you don't want to use bias tape, then you could fold the outer seam once, then twice on itself and stitch it down.
Now it should be complete. That's it .... *whew*!